Panchavidha Kashaya Kalpana
Swarasa (Fruit juice): Juice extracted from a fresh herb is called swarasa of that herb. The fresh herb is cleaned well, pounded and the resultant paste is rolled into a bolus, squeezed through a cloth and the expressed fresh juice is collected in a clean container. Fresh juice of herbs is easy to absorb and maximum effect is achieved in short period.
Swarasa is used for internal use as medicine and in preparation of various pills. It is also used external in ophthalmic disorders. Dose of Swarasa for internal use is 20 - 40 ml. Eg. Fresh juice of Tulsi (Holy basil) can be prepared and administered internally along with honey in conditions of cold, cough and nasal congestion.
Kalka (Paste): A fresh drug or a dry drug is converted into a paste by rubbing it on a stone with little quantity of water. Fresh or dry drugs are first cleaned with water. In case of dry drug, it is powdered first and filtered with a cloth and mixed with appropriate quantity of water and then rubbed in pestle and mortar and made into a paste. In case of fresh drugs, they are first chopped into fine pieces, pounded and macerated in mortar and pestle until the paste becomes fine.
Kalka can be used both internally and externally. Kala is also used in preparation of oils to add specific color, fragrance and medicinal properties. Dose for internal use is 5-10 gm. Eg. Paste of Nimba (Neem) can be prepared and administered in intestinal worm infestations.
Kwatha (Decoction): Kwatha is prepared by boiling 1 part of herb with 16 parts of water in an open vessel on mild fire till it reduces to one-eighth of the original quantity. The quantity of water may be four times, eight times or sixteen times the quantity of the part of the plant. This variation in the amount of water depends on the hardness of the material used. Like, it may be simply four times in soft herbs (herbs whose leaves and flowers are used), eight times for medium hardness (includes soft barks of plants, roots of shrubs and plants, soft roots, tubers and medium tubers), while sixteen times in case where the plant material to be used for preparing decoction is too hard (Hard barks of trees, root bark of trees and creeper).
Decoctions form a base of various Ayurvedic formulations like Asava, Arishta, oils, pills, awaleha, etc. Decoction is used internally for drinking or for medicated enemas or externally for eye wash. Dose for internal use is 40 ml. Eg. Decoction of Dashmool (root of ten herbs) can be prepared and administered to regain strength, relieving pain, etc.
Hima (Cold infusion): Hima is the cold infusion of fragrant or cold potency herbs which are intended to be used for Pitta problems. Fragrant herbs may lose their active principles by heating, hence for such type of drugs, Hima kalpa is mentioned, by which active ingredients can be collected in cold infusion form. 1 part of the drug is immersed in 3 parts of water for 4 – 6 hours and then filtered and administered. Dose for internal use is 40 ml. Eg. Cold infusion of Coriander can be prepared and administered in conditions of reduce burning sensation and other Pitta disorders.
Phanta (Hot infusion): Phanta is the hot infusion of those herbs which are intended to be used for Kapha and Vata problems. Water has to be boiled first and then respected quantity of drug in coarse powder form is immersed in it and then the vessel is removed from fire. When it cools down to room temperature, then it should be rubbed with hands and filtered with cloth and administered. Hot infusion is beneficial for Kapha and Vata problems. Dose of Phanta is 40 ml. Herbal teas are examples of Phanta. Eg. Ginger tea.